Long-time listeners know we've had our fair share of run-ins with zero tolerance policies in the public school system. This story is kind of parallel to that, but instead revolves around a teacher rather than a student.
This art instructor, mere months away from retirement from a a Long Island school, has been placed on administrative leave after breaking a school policy. When a student approached her, grieving the loss of two friends in rapid succession and seeking comfort, she took the student off campus to a nearby coffee shop. Based on the totally lucid and sensible description of the event by both the teacher, the student and the parents, the teacher was clearly acting out of empathy and at the behest of the student. She seems to have done nothing wrong. On the contrary, she seems to have gone above and beyond for the well-being of her students.
But now, after years of service without incident, she's being punished because of the schools' policy against accompanying students off-campus. Others in the community have made strides toward exonerating this teacher from her seemingly unwarranted charges.
What do you think? Should the school make an exception for such an unusual and benign circumstance? Or should they stay firm on their rules?